Step-off time for 2022 West Hudson St. Patrick’s Day Parade changed

The Red Bulls, reportedly, say it was all in the hands of Major League Soccer.

The United Irish Associations of West Hudson, rightfully, don’t care whose fault it is — they’re just not happy about it.

But because the United Irish have always been pro-active and forward-thinking, always keeping West Hudsonians in mind, the issue at hand — the New York Red Bulls, who have never played a home game outside of New Jersey — will host their home opener to the MLS soccer season at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 13, as scheduled against Minnesota United — and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which has always been on the same Sunday in March, since, ever, will instead step off an hour earlier, at 1 p.m., so there’s not a nightmare traffic scenario in Harrison.

Mass to commence the parade will also be an hour earlier, at 11 a.m. instead of noon, at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church.

It’s almost fitting something like this would happen, given the parade was canceled in 2020 just as COVID broke out — and last year, too, in an abundance of caution.

MLS announced its schedule in November 2021.

And you might think the professional soccer team would have informed the league the region’s preeminent annual affair was to take place on March 13, thus making the date a blackout for use of the stadium for a home match, where up to 25,000 fans would pour into Harrison from all over the Tri-State area.

But that didn’t happen.

Instead, the Red Bulls 2 p.m. match time remains — and the parade organizers did the best they could, in conjunction with the Harrison Police Department.

James “Jim” Miller Jr., of Kearny, a 22-year United Irish board member and the current publicity chairman, says he’s extremely disappointed in the Red Bulls and the MLS, but he is extremely grateful to the Harrison PD — most specifically, Sgt. Stanley Titterington — who met with the Irish earlier in the week to come up with a logical alternative to the original step-off time.

“We ultimately decided to move the start time of the parade to an hour earlier,” Miller said. “We will line up on the other side of Harrison Avenue, as well. And it’s our hope it will keep inconvenience to a minimum.”

Miller says Titterington told him most people who come to the Red Bulls game by car get there by either by taking one of the bridges from Newark to Harrison or by exiting Route 280 in Newark or Harrison. As such, police should be able to divert vehicular traffic away from the parade route, which begins at the the intersection of Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard and Harrison Avenue.

Kevin Quinn, the president of the United Irish, says he and the executive board are resolute in providing a united front — therefore, their greatest concern is the people of West Hudson, who have anticipated this parade for two years. And he and all are disappointed, nonetheless, with RBNY.

“They say they’re ‘community-oriented,’ but this is hardly an example of that,” Quinn said.

And regardless of who is responsible for the abhorrent scheduling, the local club should have known better than to tell the league March 13 was for a home match.

“It’s been same Sunday of March every year,” Quinn said. “They know this.”

And so, too, does just about anyone who has lived here since 2019.

An email to the soccer club seeking comment was not returned.

Profiles of the parade honorees, who have waited two years to get their special day, will be featured in an upcoming edition of The Observer.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.